I’ve gotten in a few good rides this last week or so. Last Friday, Brian and I went to the barn in the evening. Brian is becoming more and more confident around the horses, and I think will soon start going out to ride on his own on Tuesdays and other days I don’t have time, which will be good for both him and Steen.
Anyway, on Friday everything went very well. Brian did a lot of trotting, and Steen was pretty much relaxed the entire time, with Brian looking very solid in the saddle.
After Brian rode, I hopped on for a little while. I loped a bit, and got the most consistent, balanced lope I’ve ever achieved on Steen. So that was pretty fun.
The ride over, we hung out in the outdoor arena, letting Steen graze while we groomed him. The grain I added to his diet is starting to show, and he is losing his too-thin look, which is a big relief. He’s also going to get his teeth floated Monday, which should further help in that department.
I went to the barn again on Sunday, but didn’t have as nice a ride. Steen was as agitated on Sunday as he was mellow on Friday. His trot was fast, and his lope was crazy. I’m not sure what got into him – perhaps something in the wind or some herd dynamics that went down in the pasture before I got there…
Nevertheless, after loping like mad for a while he seemed calmer, and after that the ride was nicer. I worked on some exercises that are supposed to help him focus and stop faster, and had some success. I am looking forward to working on them more in the future.
Once again, I untacked outside and then let him graze while I groomed, then put him back in the pasture and headed out.
Today I was very tired when I got off work, but dragged myself to the barn anyway. I decided I didn’t want to deal with everything that riding outside entails, so I just groomed Steen, grabbed his bridle and went to the indoor arena. After a little bit of ground-work, I hopped on and proceeded to have a very nice ride. In spite of kids playing in one corner, a couple people working on a lame horse in the breezeway and all sorts of noise and commotion, Steen was very mellow though-out the ride- his trot staying in the “jog” category all the way through. Riding bareback I can also tell he is indeed getting wider, which is nice not only because winter is coming on and he needs a layer of fat, but also because he is rather more comfortable to sit on when he’s less bony. I just kept things slow today since that’s about all I was up for, and it is nice that Steen has reached a point that a totally mellow ride is actually possible.